After the post we recently did, Finding Travel Deals - A Starter Kit, we received some e-mails asking us for more examples of great deals. One person asked "What blew your minds?" Well, technically what follows isn't a "deal" (it's a policy), but it blew our minds. Does that count?
We're trying to rack up miles on Alaska Airlines, so we try to fly them - or a partner airline - when we can. When I was reading one of their e-deal/newsletters awhile back (remember when we told you to sign up for e-deals), I noticed that they offer an anytime price guarantee. That's right - more than just a 24 hour grace period within which to cancel or make a change.
How to have a safety net when you purchase air travel on Alaska Airlines.
Here's how it works (in their words):
- Purchase an Alaska Airlines or Horizon Air flight.
- Find the same flight and itinerary for less on alaskaair.com any time before your departure.
- Use the automated process to claim a guaranteed airfare credit.
- You'll get the difference in price as a refund or credit that can be used toward your next Alaska Airlines or Horizon Air flight purchase.
Seeing that in the newsletter, I felt like I had been so out of the loop. How long had this been going on? Could a customer, essentially, book airfare at any time with the security of knowing that decreases in the price would be refunded ?
This news was a world rocker.
We have since put the guarantee to the test. Let's take our upcoming Kauai journey as an example.
When we purchased tickets, the price (including taxes) was $521.60/pp. A few days later I checked, and it went down to $501.60. we received a voucher for $20.00, and the fun was only beginning:
- It then went down to $434.60, and we received a voucher for $67.00
- It then went down to $428.60, and we received a voucher for $6.00
- It recently went down to $357.61, and we received a voucher for $70.99
See how well that works!? As is the case with most deals, you have to stay on top of it. Alaska Airlines certainly doesn't notify us of these price drops; we have to pop on their site every now and then to check on the latest fare.
We saved a total of $163.99 on this flight (so far) for a total of 31% off what we had originally paid.
Do you have AAD? We don't.
This little gem of a guarantee has further endeared us to Alaska Airlines, and we're not as reluctant to purchase air early. Doing so saves us the near-heart-attacks associated with airfare anxiety disorder (AAD) - where you obsessively watch airfare in order to pull your journey together.
If, like us, you're in Alaska Air's territory, now you know. You can kiss AAD goodbye. This is just one example of the many ways you incorporate not only deals but also policy scouring into your budget-minded adventure planning.
Yep, this might be the first policy that's actually interesting (and awesome). Now, let's deal with those ridiculous baggage fees.
What deals/policies have rocked your world lately?